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ChefTalk.com › Culinary Schools, Cookbooks & Cookware › Cutlery › Chef's Knives › New West Knifeworks Damascucs "The 9" Chef Knife

New West Knifeworks Damascucs "The 9" Chef Knife


Pros: Excellent edge, well made

Cons: pricey

Every once in a while, running a large online food community like ChefTalk has some special perks like getting to test New West Knife Work's Damascus forged "The 9" (pictured below).  A feeling similar to test driving a close friend's new Porsche is the feeling I got when I received this knife and took it for a test drive. Simply put, this is a great knife.

New West Knives are made by Corey Milligan of Jackson Hole, WY. They offer two lines of knives, both of which are outstanding. The Phoenix line is touted as Japanese knives with a Western flair and they seem to be geared more for the professional chef. All of the Phoenix line blades are made from Damascus steel with unique Corian (as in the counter top surface) handles. The Fusion Wood line on the other hand is made with high-carbon steel blades and beautiful veneer handles.

First Impression

"The 9" (so called because that is how long the blade is) is part of the Phoenix line from New West Knife Works. Although it seems that this line is geared towards professionals, I think that this particular knife would do well in any serious home cooks kitchen.  Think of this as a knife to last you a lifetime and be passed down to your grand-kids.

At $200.00 my initial impression was this was a pricey piece of kitchen equipment, but once you start using the knife it is hard to argue the price. The blade is made of 33 layers of Damascus steel which is forge-welded onto high-carbon stainless tool-steel which forms the edge (see image below). Like most high-carbon blades I have used, "The 9" has an excellent edge and kept it through all the chopping, dicing and cutting challenges I put it through.


The Blade

The blade of "The 9" is beautiful with all the waves one would expect from a Damascus steel blade. A one piece blade, the tang is hidden and secure to the handle with stainless steel rivets. At first glance I was surprised and concerned by how thin the blade was and wondered if it could really stand up to normal kitchen use. Actually, the blade held up just fine and the thinner blade meant a lighter knife which is a good thing if you're in a professional kitchen. 

Early in my career I was given a wonderful set of Henkel knives, although they were an excellent set of knives their only drawback was how heavy they were. The weight of the knife becomes more of an issue when you are in a professional kitchen using it 5 to 6 hours a day. A lighter knife means less work for your wrist and you don't tire as easily. It also helps in not developing the dreaded carpal tunnel syndrome which often plagues chefs. Although probably not an issue for the home cook, I do think that the weight of the knife becomes a bigger issue when you are considering a knife for professional use. 

The edge of the knife was extremely sharp right out of the box and I had no problems with standard kitchen tasks such as chopping, mincing, or slicing. I did several tests slicing potatoes, tomatoes, chopping various herbs and mincing garlic. All of my tests went extremely well and I could tell I was really starting like this knife.  One side (the right side) of the blade has dimples in the edge, 9 dimples to be exact which aide in breaking surface tension. The dimples work well and slicing potatoes and tomatoes was much more efficient.

The knife is shipped with a heavy duty, black, leather sheath to protect the blade. The sheath is much tougher and more practical than the cheap plastic sheaths I have used. I also think it probably does a much better job in protecting the blade and preserving the edge.

The Handle

At first glance the handle looks like it is a made out of a piece of counter top. I found out that that is exactly what it is made out of. The product is called Nobel-Lite, and it is similar in composition to Corian counter tops. In short, this makes the handle a non-porous material that is waterproof and resistant to stains, chemicals, bacteria and molds. The handle is well constructed and felt very comfortable in my hands.


In Summary

Overall, this is an outstanding piece of cutlery and I would have no reservations recommending this knife. The only issue I found with the knife was one miniscule nick in the steel near the handle. It was small imperfection and maybe I am being a bit picky, but if you are paying $200.00 for a knife I think you should expect it to be perfect. 

The knife (as do all knives from New West Knife Works) comes with a life-time guarantee. There is an important distinction however, between the guarantee for non-commercial use vs. commercial use. They offer a 100% guarantee for non-commercial use. If you not satisfied with the knife's performance, send it back and they will replace it for free. For commercial users, the knife is guaranteed against defects and workmanship. After you have used up the knife you can send it back and they will replace it for you at half price. Not a bad deal if you ask me.

The final word is this: if you are looking for a sturdy, well made, beautiful knife that will last you through the years, consider "The 9" or one of the many fantastic knives from New West Knife Works. You can find them online at http://www.newwestknifeworks.com/.


Pros: great feel, excellent blade, holds edge, BALANCED, US made

Hey folks.


I've been lucky enough to use the NW Knifeworks "9" for a couple of months now and absolutely LOVE it. Despite having several other santokus and chef knives of similar length in my kit, I find myself reaching for the nine more than any of the rest of them. It's just comfortable. I dont find myself fatiguing during long days or days riddled with lots of prep. It's extremely well balanced and holds a wonderful edge. On top of it all, it's fun to look at! For those of you in need of a new knife, give Corey and the folks at NewWest a call and scoop up one of their japanese steel, japanese inspired, US made knives. Sharpening for life and it hasn't left the states. A pretty cool deal if you ask me.



New West Knifeworks Damascucs "The 9" Chef Knife

You can’t top the 9. It's not 8 or 10 inches it's "The 9". This 9 inch chef with its one sided Granton grind, sleek shape, and ultra-thin Damascus forge welded blade make it the top chef knife for the professional and serious home chef alike. New West is becoming very popular in professional kitchens. The 9 is used by pros in top kitchens like the Four Season's Restaurant in NYC and is becoming popular among students of the French Culinary Institute. For those who can wield it, this will be the top knife in your kitchen.

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Blade Length 9 inches
Overall Length 14 inches
Steel Type A-8 Japanese High-Carbon Stainless Tool Steel clad in 410 Stainless Damascus Steel (HRC 58-59)



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